Home  »  Leaves of Grass  »  315. Inscription

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

315. Inscription

SMALL is the theme of the following Chant, yet the greatest—namely, One’s-Self—that wondrous thing a simple, separate person. That, for the use of the New World, I sing.

Man’s physiology complete, from top to toe, I sing. Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the muse;—I say the Form complete is worthier far. The female equal with the male, I sing,

Nor cease at the theme of One’s-Self. I speak the word of the modern, the word En-Masse:

My Days I sing, and the Lands—with interstice I knew of hapless War.

O friend whoe’er you are, at last arriving hither to commence, I feel through every leaf the pressure of your hand, which I return. And thus upon our journey link’d together let us go.